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Published by the 

Volume XXIII No. 3 

May-June 2000 


Post Office Box 940277 
Rockaway Park, New York 11694-0277 
Tel. 718-634-9266 Fax 718-318-1455 

Moe Weinschel, President 
Mel Wacks, Vice President 
Edward Janis, Vice President Emeritus 
Julius Turoff, Secretary 
Florence Schuman, Treasurer/Membership 

Edward Janis, J.J. Van Grover, William Rosenblum, Florence Schuman 
Mel Wacks, Donna Sims, Julius Turoff, Moe Weinschel, Harry Pollackov 


The American Israel Numismatic Association is a cultural and educational 
organization dedicated to the study and collection of Israel's coinage, past 
and present, and all aspects of Judaic numismatics. It is a democratically 
organized, membership oriented group, chartered as a non-profit 
association under the laws of The State of New York. The primary purpose 
is the development of programs, publications, meetings and other activities 
which will bring news, history, social and related background to the study 
and collection of Judaic numismatics, and the advancement of the hobby. 

The Association sponsors major cultural/social/numismatic events such as 
national and regional conventions, study tours to Israel, publication of 
books, and other activities which will be of benefit to the members. Local 
chapters exist in many areas. Write for further information. 

The Association publishes the SHEKEL six times a year. It is a journal and 
news magazine prepared for the enlightenment and education of the 
membership and neither solicits nor accepts advertising. All articles 
published are the views and opinions of the authors and may or may not 
reflect the views and opinions of A.I.N.A. 

Membership fees: Annual $15.-, Life $200.-, Foreign $22.- 

Club membership $15- Send all remittances, correspondence 
undelivered magazines, change of address and zip code with old address 
label to: 

A.I.N.A. % Florence Schuman, Treasurer 
12555 Biscayne Blvd #733 
North Miami, FI. 33181 

Volume XXXIII No. 3 (Cons. #175) MAY-JLINE 2000 


TaMe Content* 

Editor's Page 2 

False Shekels 

by Marvin Tameanko 3 

Rehovot: The First Independent Settlement 11 

Dijon's Jewish History 14 

Fritz Haber 16 

Under the Jewish Flag 

by Moshe Kohn 17 

Clermont-Ferrand . 20 

A Synagogue in Afganistan 21 

A Jewish Lord Mayor of London 24 

About Halukka 

by Edward Schuman 25 

Leipsig's Jewish History 28 

Freiburg Im Breisgau 30 

Kol Nidre 32 

Joseph Cowan-A Neglected British Zionist 34 

Zuelz, A Medieval Polish City 36 

Jewish History in Karlsbad 38 

Operation Kadesh 40 

Ernest Bloch 

by Fred Bertram 43 

Club Bulletin 

by Donna J. Sims 45 

Membership Application 47 


©2000 American Israel Numismatic Association 
ISSN 0087-3486 

The P%eAident'6 Menage 
iy Moe (Vein&che4 

Dear Member: 

This is a call for HELP! We now have many members who are 
"snowbirds", who have a winter address and a summer place. Our 
problem is returned mail. The Shekel is sent to you via Non Profit permit 
mail. Undeliverable copies are returned via first class at our expense at 
$3.45 with handling. Our mail is NOT FORWARDED and is returned as 
non deliverable or reporting a new address if the member has placed a 
forward mail card with the post office. We then re-mail those that have 
address correction via publishers periodical rate, thus adding more costs. 
In other cases, we do not re-send, as we do not have a valid mailing 
address. When that happens, we most remove the address from further 
mailings until we get a correction. In other cases we get a "Temporary 
Away" return with no indication of a forwarding address or when the 
away period is ended. Again we must stop mailing until correction is 
received. In these cases, besides the expenses, time is needed to upgrade 
and correct our records in the computer. That is why we are asking that 
you PLEASE keep us informed as to any address changes, temporary or 

There is an additional CALL FOR HELP. Our membership is aging and 
declining by attrition. We ask each of you to please help in recruiting 
new members. There is a membership application printed in the back of 
each issue of The Shekel. We ask that when you visit a professional 
office, (Doctor, Dentist, Clinic, Attorney etc.) that you leave a copy of 
The Shekel in the waiting room. Another location, many public libraries 
have facilities for literature distribution. The Shekel can be left in those 
locations. If you do not wish to part with your Shekel, send a note to me 
and I will gladly send a supply of back issues. 




By Marvin Tameanko 

The genuine, ancient shekel, struck during the First War of the Jews 
against the Romans in A.D. 66- 70, was a historically important coin, often 
revered as a relic of the Bible, and it was imitated and reproduced for 
centuries afterwards. One large group of these shekel copies, sometimes 
called ‘false shekels’ or ‘censer pieces’, played an indirect part in the 
creation of the modem State of Israel but they have never been given the 
recognition or credit they deserve. Instead, these strange copies were 
considered to be quaint tokens of an 19 th century religious revival and a 
renewed interest in the Bible among Christians. However, their history 
begins much earlier than this date and their origins or functions are far 
more interesting. The story of these false shekels or censer pieces perhaps 
begins at a reproduction of the Holy Sepulcher church in Prussia in 1480 
with the fabrication of the first known copies and ends in England in 1917 
with the famous Balfour Declaration, a document that favored the creation 
of a homeland for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. But the line 
between these two events and dates is a intricate path through the history 
of the Jews in Europe. 

A genuine shekel of the second year of the First War of the Jews against the 
Romans (A.D. 67). It weighs 14.2 grams and is 22 millimeters in diameter This 
silver coin served as the model for the false shekels or censer pieces. The obverse 
depicts a chalice used in the Temple and the date is given above the vessel by the 
letters SB for year two, in Paleo-Hebrew script. The obverse inscription is 
SHEKEL OF ISRAEL. The reverse shows a branch of a pomegranate tree with 
three buds. The legend reads, THE HOLY JERUSALEM. Greek Imperial Coins 
and their Values by David R. Sear, no. 5630. 

Some of these imitations of the shekel were given the label, ‘censer 
pieces’, because of a misinterpretation of a part of the design on the 
authentic coins. The ancient Hebrew letters, S B (Shin Bet), representing 

The "False Shekel" illustrations shown on the front cover of this issue of The 
SHEKEL were provided by Mr. James B. Duncan of Aukland, New Zealand. 


the date of year two, located above the chalice on the obverse of the most 
commonly found genuine shekel, was considered by the copiers to be 
smoke rising from the vessel. Because of this, the chalice was thought to 
be a censer bowl containing burning incense. Other authorities suggested 
the vessel was a pot of the biblical Manna giving off a holy mist. Similarly, 
the pomegranate branch with three buds on the reverse of the authentic 
shekel was interpreted as being the biblical rod of Aaron that miraculously 
flowered and budded. The inscriptions on the censer pieces were the same 
as those on the genuine shekels, that is, on the obverse, (censer or chalice 
side), SHEKEL OF ISRAEL. On the reverse ( rod or branch side), THE 
HOLY JERUSALEM. However, the inscriptions on the imitations were 
engraved with the so-called modem, square Hebrew (Aramaic) lettering 
while the genuine shekel was inscribed with the ancient, paleo-Hebrew 

The origin of these censer pieces may be found in the 14 th century 
when, even after the loss of the Crusader kingdoms in Palestine, Europeans 
continued to make pilgrimages to the Holy Land. These excursions were 
dangerous and sometimes resulted in death from the many illnesses and 
plagues that ravished the Middle East. Most of these voyagers were deeply 
religious Europeans, tracing the paths or walking in the footsteps of their 
Lord. Many of them wore pilgrims’ badges or some other sign of their 
faith and, if possible, they acquired relics or coins to use as talismans on 
their voyage and to bring home as mementoes. Eventually the merchants in 
Palestine, lacking authentic artifacts or coins to sell to the pilgrims, 
fabricated imitations. Especially popular were medals or tokens that looked 
like shekels and were offered as examples of the ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’ 
paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus. These became the most common 
types of early false shekels available in souvenir shops and many of them 
ended up being deposited in the home town churches of the pilgrims. 
Selling these tokens was a lucrative business and many other types of 
coin-like amulets were sold at European places of pilgrimage, especially in 
Rome. The popularity of these religious pilgrimages to the Holy land and 
the souvenir medals or badges purchased by the travellers continued right 
up into the present century. 

The history of these censer pieces, has never been thoroughly 
documented. The best monograph on the subject was written by Dr. Bruno 
Kisch of New York city in 1941.' His essay on the subject classifies and 
illustrates 81 tokens from German, United States and private museums as 
well as his own extensive collection of 61 shekel tokens. However, much 
of the most recent research is not included in this work and the very 
important English-made tokens and the religious organizations connected 


to them is entirely overlooked. As well, one of the more recent pamphlets 
on the censer pieces, titled Jewish Shekel Tokens, a 1972 privately 
published brochure by Frank Lapa of Los Angeles, is only a loose catalog 
of 24 types and it contains very little new information . 

According to historians, the earliest dated, censer piece was supposedly 
made in 1584. This date appeared on the obverse, in pseudo-Hebrew 
numbers below the vessel, of a unique token, last reported in the possesion 
of Mr. Guido Kisch of New York. This token was supposedly made in 
Prague at the time when eminent Mordecai Meysel, 1508-1601, was the 
leader of the city’s Jewish community. For this reason, the owner of the 
medal in 1 893 called it the ‘Meysel Shekel’, The purpose of this medal can 
only be speculated upon but such shekel-like tokens usually served in the 
European Jewish communities as sentimental reminders of the ancient 
Jewish homeland or as Pidyon Haben coins for the ceremony of the 
redemption of the first-born son. Other similar, shekel tokens were used as 
receipts for charitable payments to the synagogue, as Chanukah Gelt, as 
badges of self- help societies, or as admission tickets to holiday events. As 
many of these medals are found with suspension loops attached, they may 
have also been worn as good luck charms or as amulets to ward of sickness 
and the ‘evil eye’. The Meysel token resembles the authentic Shekel only 
slightly. As usual, the designs of the chalice and pomegranate branch are 
stylized or misinterpreted so that fumes seem to be rising from the vessel 
and the pomegranate branch looks like a leafy limb. The legends are the 
same as those on the authentic shekel but are given in the so-called 
modem, Hebrew, square or block lettering. A suspension loop was later 
attached to the top of this unique medal. Numismatists have determined 
that this token is actually a cast copy in silver, 38 millimeters in diameter, 
supposedly of an earlier, struck medal but with the date added to the mold 
used to make the later copy.fl 

The earliest dated censer piece, the ‘Meysel Shekel’, 1584. Type ‘A’ in Dr. Bruno 
Kisch’s work, ‘Shekel Medals and False Shekels’. (Hereafter cited as ‘Kisch’). 

Despite this data, most historians believed that the Meysel Shekel was 
not the first censer piece ever made and that some probably existed as 

early as 1480. They connect the earliest pieces with George Emerich, 
1422-1507, the burgomeister (mayor) of the city of Goerlitz, in Prussia. It 
was believed that he fabricated the first censer tokens after his return from 
a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1465 and sold them as souvenirs at a repro- 
duction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher he built in Goerlitz in 1480. 
This assumption cannot be confirmed from the burgomeister’s biography 
but the Municipal Art Collection in the Museum of Goerlitz contains 36 
examples of the various tokens which were sold at the shrine during the 
past centuries. Some of these are quite primitive and can easily be 
recognized as early, crude prototypes of a design that probably inspired the 
Meysel Shekel. 

A crude Censer piece, perhaps the earliest type manufactured in Goerlitz after 
1480. Cast in bronze, 30.5 mm in diameter, weighing 16.8 grams. ‘Jewish Shekel 
Tokens’ by Frank Lapa (hereafter cited as Lapa), no/19. 

Some authorities believed that the earliest graphic representation of 
the censer pieces appeared as an illustration of the biblical ‘Thirty Pieces of 
Silver’ in a painting, now in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. 2 This painting 
was attributed to Lucas van Leyden who died in 1530. However, many 
experts believed that it was done by a much later artist, in the style of van 
Leyden, so it does not prove conclusively that such tokens had been made 
earlier than the Meysel Shekel of 1 584. Also, the design of the tokens in 
this painting are exactly the same as one illustrated in a book published in 
1604. This illustration is the first literary record of a censer piece and it 
appeared in a book by J. B. Villalpandus. 3 A detailed line drawing of the 
token was produced in this book and the author stated that it was a 
genuine, ancient shekel struck by the Jews. Physical proof that the 
Villalpandus type of token circulated in the 1 7th century is given by casts 
of these same pieces which were used by the English bell founder, John 
Palmer of Gloucester, from 1650 to 1663, to decorate some of his bronze 
church bells. 4 

The plate from Villalpandus 9 book, 1604, showing the censer piece he believed to 
be an authentic ancient shekel despite the modern Hebrew letters in the 
inscriptions. It is exactly the same design as the tokens on John Palmer’s bells. It 
is cataloged as Kisch, B4. r 


In the 1 6 th to 1 8 th century, a great interest in ancient coins occurred, 
especially among the educated and aristocratic families of Europe, and 
many of these false shekels were palmed off as authentic, ancient coins. In 
the 19 th to 29 th century a substantial amount of documentation was pub- 
lished. to warn coin collectors about these false shekels still being offered 
in the marketplace. In the book, Geschichte der Judische Munzen by M. A. 
Levy, published in 1 862, the author described the censer pieces and stated 
that they were the commonest of all the forgeries of Jewish coins. In 1 895, 
the archaeologist, Sir John Evans, in an article in the Numismatic 
Chronicle, Vol XX, called attention to a false shekel being sold as a 
genuine coin in London. Finally, in 1920, the English numismatist, George 
F. Hill, published a paper titled, ‘False Shekels’, in which he mentioned all 
the above literary sources and explained the history and deceptiveness of 
these tokens. 5 

In the 19 th century, western Europe, especially England, experienced a 
phenomenal revival in religious beliefs and Bible studies. Scientific 
discoveries and Darwin’s theories about the evolution of man led to intense 
scholarly criticism of the Holy Writ and many religious sects, as well as the 
public in general, responded with a renewed interest in the events described 
in the Bible and the archaeological discoveries that could prove them to be 
true. The English became heavily involved in this spiritual renewal after 
Admiral Sydney Smith defeated Napoleon at Acre in 1 799 and brought the 
ancient Holy Land into the British political sphere of influence. At that 
same time, English social organizations, such as the Palestine Association, 
were established ( 1 804) to find ways of converting Jews to Christianity by 
emphasizing the commonality of the roots and credos of the two religions. 
To reinforce this philosophy, these religious organizations encouraged 
pilgrimages to the Holy Land and promoted the exploration and excavation 
of biblical sites. The Palestine Exploration Fund, founded in 1865, 
sponsored several archaeological excavations ostensibly to discover the 
history of the ancient Jews but also to prove the accuracy of the Bible. 
Many of these societies truly wished to make amends for the European 
persecution of the Jews but believed that the only way to do this was to 
make Jews into their Christian brethren. A typical organization with this 
objective was the ‘London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the 


Jews’ founded in 1809. In 1910, they published a book titled ‘Walks 
About Jerusalem’, written by the Reverend J. E. Hanauer, as part of their 
endorsement of religious pilgrimages to Palestine. The Lord Archbishop of 
Canterbury, the patron of the society, stated in a preface to the book that 
this work was - “an act of repentance before God for the treatment of the 
Jews in this country in the past and in some parts of Europe - even to the 
present day”. Underlying this genuine concern about the past ill treatment 
of the Jews was the popularly accepted prophecy that the second coming of 
Jesus could only occur when the Jews embraced Christianity. All during 
the 19 th century, this intense religious fervor encouraged many people from 
England to embark on voyages to the ancient Holy land and they adopted 
as their badges or insignia the false shekels or censer pieces available in the 
shops that sold pilgrimage equipment and religious articles. 

By 1840, many of the large medal and coin companies located in 
London England cast or struck these censer pieces and offered them to the 
public as religious pilgrims tokens or as true reproductions of the genuine 
shekel coin or of the biblical ‘thirty pieces of silver’. Some of these tokens 
were fine examples of medallic art and the authors even included their 
names in the designs. A remarkable example, struck after 1 880 carries the 
name SPENCER . LONDON under the chalice on the obverse. In 
correspondence with Mr. James B. Duncan of Auckland New Zealand, 
who owns an example of this token, it was suggested that Spencer, may 
have been associated with the London firm, Toye, Kenning and Spencer, 
Masonic jewellers and providers of Masonic ritual implements. It had been 
reported by Dr. Bruno Kisch that American Masonic lodges sometimes 
used false shekel tokens in their proceedings, but none of these are actually 
of the censer piece design. 6 The London token may therefore have been a 
medallion used by an English Masonic chapter in their sacred rites. 

A London produced censer piece, probably made after 1890, signed SPENCER . 
LONDON on the obverse under the Chalice. It is struck in white brass, weighs 13 
grams and is 35 millimeters in diameter. It may have been used in Masonic rituals. 
Lapa, no. 11. 

The English public became attached to these censer pieces and used 
them up until 1920 and perhaps even later. Over the years, many thousands 


of the false shekels were cast or struck by German, Czechoslov akian 
English and American manufacturers in several types of metal. Examples 
can be found in gold, silver, tin, iron, brass, bronze, lead, pewter and, in 
later years, in aluminum. Many types were made of white metal (sometimes 
called pot metal) a soft alloy of copper and tin that looked like silver and 
was used in making inexpensive kitchen utensils. Some of the later yellow 
brass tokens were washed with a thin coating of silver or gold and these 
can be found today with the plating partially intact. Many of these tokens 
were meant to be worn and they often have pins or suspension loops 

The later censer pieces were not only used as badges by Christian 
pilgrims but also as illustrations of ancient biblical coins by church study 
groups in Europe and by Sunday Schools in America. On January 7, 1 857, 
the New York Herald newspaper published a notice advertising the sale of 
such a “Sunday School” shekel which was labelled as a “facsimile of the 
shekel of the sanctuary”. This American censer piece, made by a Mr. A. 
Nicholas, differed from its European cousins only in that, on the reverse, 
the word JERUSALEM appeared on the right side of the token rather than 
on the left, perhaps to give a reading of JERUSALEM THE HOLY. In 
fact, there are numerous variations in the designs of the censer pieces, over 
200 are known to date, and a complete catalog of types has never been 
attempted. Most large museums and numismatic societies have small 
collections of these false shekels available for study. 

The American censer piece, used in Sunday Schools, which can be dated to around 
1857 from the notice in the New York Herald of that date. It is struck in silver, 35 
millimeters in diameter and weighs 14 grams. It also was struck in bronze and 
brass. From the Kisch collection, Kisch B34. 

The last design types of these tokens, fabricated from 1890 to 1920, 
were usually cast in brass or made of silver plated brass but solid silver 
examples are also known. The tokens were well made from dies or molds 
on nicely round blanks. Over the years, the design of the censer and the 
budding rod became highly refined and the lettering became more accurate. 
However, the manufacturers often copied the older tokens or imitations 
casting them in molds made directly from the first copies and many crude 


types exist. The last types of tokens fabricated are commonly found today, 
usually in coin dealers ‘bargain trays’ or ‘junk boxes’ because they are not 

This is one of the last types of censer piece and it may have been issued after 1920. 
It is struck or cast in silver plated brass, 33 millimeters in diameter and weighing 
9.2 grams. This is the type most commonly found at coin shows today. Similar to 
Kisch Dl. 

The majority of the censer pieces were made during the great renewal 
of religion in the 1 9th century and were used to signify the wearers’ belief 
and the truth of the words of the Bible. Displaying the token proclaimed an 
affirmation of faith just as if the wearer had gone on an arduous pilgrimage 
to the Holy Land. This intense religious revival affected many political 
parties, social organizations and church groups in England and the tokens 
also expressed a philo-Judaism that flourished among some of the 
intellectuals and politicians of Great Britain. The Balfour Declaration of 
1917 was only a political document but the members of the government 
who formulated it were strongly influenced by this surge of religious 
feelings. Most of them fully agreed with the sentiments expressed by the 
Archbishop of Canterbury in his preface to the book ‘Walks About 
Jerusalem’. In the end, the Balfour Declaration represented a utopian 
political policy that could never be implemented but it set the historical 
precedent and guidelines for the establishment of the modem state of 

Notes and Bibliography. 

1 'Shekel Medals & False Shekels' by Bruno Kisch, in Historia Judaica, Vol. Ill, Oct. 1941, 
New York, pages 67 to 101. 

2 The painting is noted by G. F. Hill in ‘False Shekels’ in his book The Medal lie portraits o) 
Christ. Oxford Press, 1920. page 87. This painting is rarely illustrated in the catalogues of the 
Uffizi gallery but a detail of the picture showing the Censer Pieces was reproduced in an article 
by Hill in The Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist. Vin, 1904. page 135. 

3 Apparatus Urbis ac Templi Heirosolymitani , Vol. III. parts 1 and 2, by J. B. Villalpandus. 
Rome, 1604, page 390 and plate facing page 378. 

4 Article on Palmer's bells by H. B. Walters in Transactions of the Bristol & Gloucester Arch- 
aeological Society. xxxiv, page 119. Also noted in Hill's ‘False Shekels', footnote on page 90. 

5 ‘False Shekels’ in The Medallic Portraits of Christ by G. F. Hill. Oxford Press, 1920, page 78. 

6 ‘Shekel Medals and False Shekels' as above, page 92. 


Rehovot: The First Independent Settlement 

Eliahu Ze'ev Lewis-Epstein, the son of a prosperous bookseller, was 
born in Vilkaviskis, then part of Russian Lithuania in 1863. Lewin-Epstein 
joined Hovevei Zion after the 1881 Warsaw pogrom and was one of the 
founders of the Warsaw Benei Moshe. Together with Z. Gluskin, he 
established the Menuhah ve-Nahalah society whose aim was to establish an 
agricultural settlement in Erez Israel independent of Baron Edmond de 
Rothschild's aid and tutelage. The moshavah, financed by the settlers 
themselves, would serve as a model in its efficiency and leadership. He was 
sent by the society to deal with the purchase of land and the establishment 
of the settlement. 

The land had been bought from a wealthy Christian Arab owner through 
the efforts of Yehudah Goor (Grasovski), Yehoshua Hankin, and A. 
Eisenberg. The settlement called Rehovot, "Wide Expanses," a name based 
on Gen. 26:22., was founded by First Aliyah immigrants from Poland in 
1890. The settlers showed civic spirit and strove toward cooperation. 
Initially, they had to overcome many obstacles — the Arab neighbors' 
enmity, agricultural failures due to plant diseases and the like, and 
marketing difficulties of their grape and almond produce. During Rehovot's 
early years Lewin-Epstein was its spritual leader and head of the settlement 







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The rarest and most expensive of all settlement currency is the Rehovot 
26 piastre note issued in 1 892. This was a measure taken to overcome the 
shortage of small change and official Turkish paper currency. Rehovot 
employed many workers in its fields and these workers had to be paid twice 


a month. They were at first paid with vouchers signed by the administrative 
clerk which were issued in the name of the worker. The main currency in 
circulation at that time was the French gold 20 franc coin, the Napoleon 
D'or. To convert this coin into small change would have incurred a loss of 

The Menuhah ve-Nahalah society decided to print, in Warsaw, paper 
tokens of several denominations from half to 26 piastre denominations. 
None of the lesser denominations have survived, and only a couple of the 
26 piastre notes are known. The Turkish silver "dollar" called medjide was 
equal to 26 piastres and thus this odd denomination. 

Citriculture was introduced in Rehovot during the first decade of the 
20th century and the population increased, particularly after 1 906, with the 
settlement of immigrants from Yemen in the suburbs, e.g., Sha'arayim 
founded in 1912. Lewin-Epstein was one of the founders of the Carmel 
Society for the marketing of the wine produced in the Erez Israel 
settlements. He went to the U.S. on its behalf and there served as a 
director of the United Hias Service and treasurer of both the Federation of 
American Zionists and the Provisional Zionist Committee which organized 
the relief work for the yishuv in Palestine in World War I. 

Lewin-Epstein then settled permanently in Palestine, where he served as a 
member of the Zionist Commission in 1919. He frequently traveled to the 
U.S., England and Germany to promote Palestine Jewish interests. His 
memoirs, Zikhronotai, appeared in 1932. 

After World War I, Rehovot entered a phase of quick expansion. In 1922 
the village received municipal council status. In 1932 the Agricultural 
Research Station of the Jewish Agency (since statehood under the 
authority of the Ministry of Agriculture) was transferred from Tel Aviv to 
Rehovot. In 1 934 Chaim Weizmann founded the Sieff Institute in Rehovot 
and built a home in the moshavah in 1936. While throughout the 1930s and 
1940s the citrus crop continued to constitute the mainstay of Rehovot's 
economy, industrial enterprises, particularly citrus preserve plants, were 

In 1949, the Sieff Institute was enlarged and became the Weizmann 
Institute. In 1952 the Agricultural Research Station became the Faculty of 
Agriculture of the Hebrew University. In 1948 Rehovot had 9,000 
inhabitants and became a city two years later. The population increased 
rapidly in the first years of statehood, reaching 23,000 in 1953. Later, its 
growth continued at a slower pace with 29,000 inhabitants in 1958 and 
36,600 in 1968. In 1970 the municipal area comprised 5,700 acres (22,800 
dun.). Citrus and mixed farming still constituted an important element in 
the local economy, and Rehovot has become one of Israel's principal 


centers for citrus packing, particularly after the opening of Ashdod port. 
Industry has been diversified and includes the production of artificial 
leather and chemicals, along with additional food-processing plants. In the 
late 1960s, a number of scientific enterprises connected with the Weizmann 
Institute added yet another element to the city's economy. The Kaplan 
Hospital is included in Rehovot's municipal boundaries. 

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot was founded by Dr. 
Chaim Weizmann in 1945. It began as the Daniel Sieff Institute for science 
research. Dr. Weizmann set lofty international standards for the Institute, 
which very quickly became one of the foremost science research 
institutions in the world. The Weizmann friends decided, while celebrating 
his 70th birthday, to broaden the scope of the Institute and to name it after 
him. The Weizmann Institute of Science 

In 1970, the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation issued a 
state medal commemorating the 80th anniversary of the founding of 
Rehovot and the Weizmann Institute of Science. 

On the obverse side: Science is allegorically represented as a galloping 
steed thrusting forward upward: the rider on top, in control by holding the 
reins tightly. Symbols of various science disciplines form a continuous 
pattern and are interwoven to make up the form of horse and rider. The 
horse has two heads as if to indicate the eye beholds him only fleetingly and 
that he is already in another position hinting at the explosive development 
of modem science. On the rim, in Hebrew and English an inscription 
noting the anniversary. The letters and design show a punctured tape, out 
of an electronic computer. 

On the reverse side: The official emblem of the City of Rehovot, oranges 
and books and a microscope, symbolizing the economic and scientific base 
of the city, On the medal these elements appear in a stylized composition in 
addition to the inscription in Hebrew: "80 to Rehovot 5650-5730". In 
English the dates given are 1890-1970. 


VijOrvy JewUh/Histor' 1 

Dijon is popular as a type of French mustard, but it is also the name of a 
city in the eastern part of France. Jewish presence in the city begins in 1 196 
when the duke of Burgundy placed the Jews of Dijon under his jurisdiction. 
Some time later he authorized the commune to admit additional Jews. 
Ducal charters of 1 197 and 1232 specified the authority of the town over 
the Jews of Dijon. Jews could then only live in three streets; the Rue de la 
Petite-Juiverie (today Rue Piron), the Rue de la Grande-Juiverie ( today 
Rue Charrue), and the Rue des Juifs (today called Rue BufiFon). Their 
synagogue and a "Sabbath house" were situated in the Petite-Juiverie, 
while the cemetery was in the present Rue Berber. This cemetery was 
confiscated after the Jews were expelled from France in 1306. Around the 
turn of the last century, in the ruins of this cemetery, about 50 Jewish 
gravestones dating to the 13th century were found. 

Some Jews returned to Dijon in 1 3 1 5 and after the readmission of Jews 
to the kingdom in 1359, a more important community was reestablished. 
But a short 35 years later, the Jews of Dijon again abandoned their homes 
when they were finally expelled iri 1394. 

Almost four hundred years later, in 1789, some Jews again settled in 
Dijon, their community belonging to the Lyons Consistory. Among the first 
things they did was to purchase ground for a cemetery northwest of the 
city. Slowly, the Jewish population grew from 50 families in 1803, to 100 
famibes in 1869, and evidently at a much faster rate thereafter when you 
consider the magnitude of their synagogue. 

1/ - IUJIM - l:l IMI(li u .'llv in it <11 1 ||;i 


The illustration is from a vintage postcard, circa 1910, which pictures 
the synagogue in the rue de la Synagogue. Construction of this grand 
edifice was begun in 1 873 and from information printed on the postcard it 
is stated was opened on September 11,1 879. It is evident that the number 
of Jews in Dijon had to be quite numerous to build and support a structure 
of this size. 

During the First World War, the citizens of Dijon, like all in other 
French cities suffered greatly from the ravages of battle. Among other 
catastrophes was a shortage of coins and currency. Similar to other cities, 
the Chamber of Commerce in Dijon in 1916 issued scrip in 25 centimes-50 
centimes, and one franc denominations. Tjiese circulated as money during 
the interim. The one franc note denomination note is illustrated. 

Dijon was an important railroad center and under careful German 
surveillance during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. 
The synagogue was emptied of its interior and served as a Nazi warehouse. 
Ninety Jews from Dijon perished in Auschwitz. After, the war, Dijon's 
returning Jews rapidly rebuilt their community and by 1 960 the community 
was again flourishing. When the French colony of Algeria achieved its 
independence, many Jews from North Africa settled in Dijon and by 1 969 
the Jewish community increased to over 1 ,000 persons. 



Fritz Haber was bom in 1868 in Breslau, Germany. His father was a 
prosperous chemical and dye merchant and an alderman of the city. After a 
period in industry and business, he went in 1893 to He entered the 
Technische Hochschule at Karlsruhe in 1893 and by 1906 he had the 
position of professor of physical and electrochemistry. His work on carbon 
bonds led to a rule bearing his name. 

His most important work, started in 1904, was the HSscovery of a method 
to produce ammonia from hydrogen and nitrogen. His laboratory 
demonstration interested Bosch, Bergius, and the Badische Anilin-und 
Sodafabrik companies, and they eventually developed the process into a 
commercial operation. Fritz Haber was awarded the Nobel Prize in 
chemistry in 1918 "for the synthesis of ammonia from its elements". During 
the First World War, this work of Haber was to be invaluable to the 
German military effort . 

In 1911 he was made director of the new Kaiser Wilhelm Research 
Institute in Berlin-Dahlem, and in 1914 this was turned over to war work, 
particularly gas warfare, starting ( with chlorine and ending with mustard 


After Germany's defeat, he reconstituted his Institute, and in the 1920s it 
became probably the leading center of physical chemistry in the world. 
Haber was president of the German Chemical Society, and of the Verband 
deutscher chemischer Vereine (which he created), and after some months 
spent in Japan he created the Japan Institute in Berlin and Tokyo. 

Haber left the Jewish faith in 1906 when he converted to Christianity. 
With the Nazi accession to power in 1933 was not immediately threatened 
but he was ordered to dismiss all the Jews on the staff of his institute. He 
refused to fire his assistants and resigned when they were discharged by 
the Nazis. His health, already poor, deteriorated even further. He went to 
a sanitarium in Switzerland, where he died in 1 934. 

In 1952 a tablet was unveiled in Haber's 
memory at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. 

The illustrated medal was sculpted by Ivan 
Sors for the Samuel Friedenberg collection 
of Great Jewish Portraits in Metal at the 
Jewish Museum in New York. 


Under the 'Jewish Flag' 
by Moshe Kohn 

The Jewish Brigade that fought with the British Army against the 
Germans and Italians in World War II, under the 'Jewish flag,' was officially 
established on September 20, 1944. But the 'Jewish flag' was for mally 
flown for the first time by a Jewish 'Palestinian' unit in the British Army on 
July 2, 1942. That happened in the Western Desert, during the successful 
Allied campaign to stop what had seemed the unstoppable eastward 
advance of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Affika Korps. 

It did not happen under British auspices, however; in fact, the flag was 
flown in violation of British regulations. It happened under French 
auspices, and at the firm order of the commander of a Free French force 
participating in the campaign. The story is told by the late great 
Dutch-Canadian journalist Pierre van Paassen in his classic "The Forgotten 
Ally" (N.Y., Dial Press, 1 943), in the chapter called 'The Best Kept Secret 
of the War.' 

That 'forgotten ally' was the 'Palestinians,' a term which in that period 
alluded to the Jews of Mandatory Palestine who had enlisted in the British 
war effort. The 'best-kept secret,' zealously guarded by British officialdom, 
was the extent of the participation of the 'Palestinians’ in that effort. 

Remember: At that time, and up until the reestablishment of the Jewish 
state in 1948 and to some extent even in more recent years, local Arabs 
indignantly rejected the designations 'Palestine' for the land and 'Palestinian' 
for themselves. They insisted that the land was really 'Southern Syria' and 
that they were 'Arabs' of 'the great Arab nation.' 

As for 'Palestinian' participation in the British war effort: Some 18,800 
of the country's 484,000 Jews were serving in the British armed forces in 
1 942, with the encouragement of the Jewish Agency, as compared to some 
9,000 out of about 1,600,100 Arabs. And British Brigadier John Glubb, 
creator and commander of what was then Transjordanian King Abdullah's 
Arab Legion - and not a friend of the Zionist endeavor - said that except 
for the Legion, "every Arab force... previously organized by us mutinied 
and refused to fight for us, or faded away in desertions" at the time of 
several Arab pro-German and pro-Italian insurgencies and attempted 
insurgencies (quoted in "The Siege" by Connor Cruise O'Brien, N.Y., 
Simon & Schuster, 1986). 

Van Passen's 'best-kept secret' concerns primarily the saga of an 
engineers company of 500 Jews in the King's West African Rifles at 
Mechili, Libya. The men of the company, led by Major Felix Liebman of 


Tel Aviv, were laying down a 12-square-mile minefield against Rommel's 
advance when they were spotted by German scout planes. To make a long 
and gripping story short, for several weeks they were strafed and bombed 
from the air and bombarded by German and Italian tanks. They, in turn, 
knocked out several score tanks and repulsed wave after wave of German 
and Italian foot soldiers. 

At one point, the Germans sent a soldier with a white flag to offer the 
company the opportunity to surrender. Liebman rejected the offer, and, 
pointing to the blue-and- white flag mounted on a makeshift base, told the 
German: 'We have no white flag; we have only this blue flag of Zion.' The 
German said with astonishment: 'You are Jews?!’ and left. The siege 
continued, and by July 2, when the Jews repulsed the last assault, only 23 
men were still alive. 

That day, a column of trucks came along bearing the remnants of a Free 
French unit that had held the line against the Germans in a bitter 
month-long battle at Bir Hakheim and was now retiring to the rear. The 
French commander was General Marie-Pierre Koenig, who embraced 
Liebman and emotionally congratulated him and his men for having held 
out at Mechili. As the exhausted Jews mounted the trucks while the French 
loaded the remaining equipment, one of the Jews took down the 'Jewish 
flag' and started to fold it. 

Koenig asked why he was folding it. Liebman told him that the British 
did not permit the Jews to fly it. Koenig retorted: 'I am in command here! I 
don't give a damn about those regulations! That flag goes on my car in 
front, next to the [French] Tricolor. That is where it belongs. We have 
come through victoriously, the two of us.' He then turned to his men and 
called: 'Legionnaires! The Jewish flag! Salute!' 

Koenig, whom Gen. Charles de Gaulle soon afterwards appointed 
commander-in-chief of the French Forces of the Interior, the resistance 
forces in occupied France, remained a staunch friend of the Zionist 
movement and, later, of Israel, breaking with de Gaulle. He died in 1972 
and was posthumously given the rank of marshal. 

The British stubbornly resisted the persistent lobbying efforts of the 
Zionist movement, led by Chaim Weizmann, and its Jewish and non-Jewish 
supporters for the formation of a special 'Palestinian' Jewish unit in the 
British army, serving under the Zionist blue-and-white flag and wearing a 
Jewish emblem. This, despite prime minister Winston Churchill’s frequent 
lip service to the establishment of such a unit and to Zionism in general. 

Churchill had acknowledged the Jewish Palestinians' role in the war in a 
message he sent to Rabbi Stephen S. Wise to be read at an anti-German 
rally in New York on December 12, 1942, saying, inter alia: 'The first 


defenses of Palestine are the armies fighting in the Western Desert in which 
Palestinians are playing their full part.' Finally, on July 26, 1944, Churc hill, 
overriding the strong objections of his Foreign and War Offices, sent his 
War Secretary, Sir James Grigg, a note saying: "...I cannot conceive why 
this martyred race, scattered about the world and suffering as no other race 
has done at this juncture, should be denied the satisfaction of having a 
flag... ("Winston Churchill on Jewish Problems" by Oskar K. Rabinowicz, 
N.Y., Thomas Yoseloff, 1960). 

Four weeks later Churchill flew to the headquarters of General Sir 
Harold Alexander, commander-in-chief of the British forces in the Middle 
East, and there authorized the establishment of the Jewish Brigade "to fight 
as an integral part of Alexander's army" ("Churchill: A Life" by Martin 
Gilbert, London, Mandarin Paperbacks, 1992). He said that "surely [the 
Jews] of all other races have a right to strike at the Germans as a 
recognizable body." 

It is quite possible that the tattered colored silk screen of the Jewish 
National Flag portrayed on the obverse of the Hatikvah State Medal issued 
in 1995 bears a striking resemblence to the one French Commander 
General Marie Pierre Koenig had placed alongside the French flag in front 
of his vehicle in 1942. Hatikvah - the hope- is not just expectation and 
anticipation, but more. It is the national anthem, written in 1887. There is 
no symbol of the Jewish people more definitive than Hatikvah and the blue 
and white flag. 

The reverse of the medal shows a satellite photograph of the Land of 
Israel with stars in the background at the top. To the left, the inscription 
"To be a free people in our own land" in Hebrew and English. 



Clermont-Ferrand is the name of a city in Auvergne, France; capital of 
the Puy-de-Dome department. The oldest written records to mention Jews 
in France, which confirms their presence there, dates back at least to 470. 
These are attested by several letters of Sidonius Apollinaris, bishop of the 
town at that time. The Jews in the locality maintained fairly friendly 
relations with Bishops Gallus and Cautinus, but the situation changed with 
Bishop Avitus, who in 576 forced over 500 Jews to accept baptism, with 
the remainder fleeing to Marseilles. 

A new community was formed at the latest during the tenth century in 
the quarter of the town whose name Fontgieve ("Fountain of the Jews") 
still preserves their memory. A hillock nearby is known as Montjuzet, 
Mons Judeorum, "Mountain of the Jews"). Although Jews were to be 
found in Auvergne in considerable numbers during the remainder of the 
Middle Ages, there is no evidence that any resided in Clermont-Ferrand 
itself. A prayer room appears to have been established in about 1780. A 
new community was organized at the beginning of the 19th century 
numbering 25 to 30 families in 1901 belonging to the consistory of Lyons 
until 1905. 

During World War II, many Jews took refuge in Clermont-Ferrand. 
Their number reached 8,500, but from the summer of 1942 they were 
compelled to leave by the police and many were placed in the Commando 
No. 142 internment camp. This was a camp established by the Vichy 
government for "political prisoners." Among the more illustrious occupants 
of the camp were Robert Rothschild, of the Rothschild banking house and 
Pierre Mendes-France. Mendes-France later became Prime Minister in a 
post war French government. 

A titty franc scrip token, printed in black on red cardboard is illustrated. 
These were issued in seven different denominations from half to 50 francs. 
The text reads "Etab. A. Olier - Clermont Ferrand." Companies which 
employed prisoners of war in private industry issued their own currency. 
Most of these companies were mines or quarries. 

There were approximately 800 
Jewish residents in Clermont- 
Ferrand in 1 969. The community 
had a synagogue, a cultural asso- 
ciation. a talmud torali. etc. 


The Mongol invasion, epidemics, and continuous warfare made inroads 
into Jewish communities in Afghanistan throughout the centuries. Little is 
known about them until the 19th century when they are mentioned in 
connection with the flight of the Jews of Meshed after the forced convers- 
ions in 1839. Many of the refugees fled to Afghanistan, Turkestan, and 
Bokhara, settling in Herat, Maimana, Kabul, and other places with Jewish 
communities, where they helped to enrich the stagnating cultural life. 

Nineteenth-century travelers state that the Jewish communities of 
Afghanistan were largely composed of these Meshed Jews. Mattathias 
Garji of Herat confirmed: "Our forefathers used to live in Meshed under 
Persian rule but in consequence of the persecutions to which they were 
subjected came to Herat to live under Afghan rule." The language spoken 
by Afghan Jews is not the Pushtu of their surroundings but a Judeo-Persian 
dialect in which they have produced fine liturgical and religious poetry. 
Their literary merit was recognized when Afghan Jews moved to Erez 
Israel toward the end of the 19th century. Scholars of Afghanistan families 
such as Garji and Shaul of Herat published Judeo-Persian commentaries on 
the Bible, Psalms, the Torah, and other works, at the Judeo- Persian print- 
ing press established in Jerusalem in the early 1 900's. 

The Jews of Afghanistan did not benefit from the activities of European 
Jewish organizations but economically, their situation in the last century 
was not unfavorable as they traded in skins, carpets, and antiquities. 

The city of Herat, in West Afghanistan, was once an important stop 
along the Silk Route and the capital of Central Asia's Timurid civilization 
(1393-1507). It is also the site of some of the world's most spectacular 
medieval Islamic architecture as well as of a distinctive vernacular building 
tradition. Tragically, after the ravages of some twenty years of civil unrest, 
natural disasters and neglect, much of this unique heritage has been lost.. 

Two objects have been uncovered with Hebrew characters; a large 
foundation stone and a smaller stone tablet, possibly a tablet of law. It has 
been said that they came from the "Mosque of the Jews". Apparently, both 
artifacts had been brought to a workshop for safekeeping, after the Jews 
left Herat at some time after 1978 just after their synagogue collapsed due 
to lack of maintenance. Both objects supposedly would be given back to 
the Jews when they returned to Herat. 

Although there were previously "several" synagogues and other build- 
ings used exclusively by the Jewish community none have remained. In a 
1978 survey of Herat, four synagogues were listed— as well as a Jewish 


bath, or hammam-e yahudiha. The buildings were located in the Bar 
Durrani and Momanda sections of the old city which is an area previously 
known as the mahalla-yi musahiya, the "neighborhood of the Jews" and 
which is located in its northwest and southwest quarters. The names of the 
synagogues were given as Mulla Ashur, Yu Aw and Gul; the fourth was 
unnamed. The bath was labeled as the Hajji Muhammad Akbar Bath, or 
Hammam-e Yahudiha. Each of these structures, all of which are of mud 
brick have been located. 

The adaptive use of these buildings mirrors the cultural transition which 
the former mahalla-yi musahiya has undergone over the past twenty years. 
The Hamman-e Yahudiha now serves the Muslim males of the quarter. The 
Mulla Samuel Synagogue is currently used as a maktab, or primary school, 
for boys. The building formerly known as the Gul Synagogue has been 
converted to the Belal Mosque. 

The once magnificent Mulla Ashur/Mulla Garji building which, when 
intact, featured elaborate painted stucco decoration, lies in ruins, the result 
of disuse and neglect. Its front courtyard is now used for housing, and 
bricks from the synagogue are being recycled for this accommodation. The 
ground floor of the Yu Aw Synagogue is also being used for housing. 

Of these buildings, it would be preferable to document Yu Aw, as its 
present appearance is closer to its original function than any of the other 
three former synagogues. The Yu Aw Synagogue is located in the 
Momanda neighborhood of the old city. From the street, a low passage- 
way is entered through a wooden door which leads into the courtyard. Like 
the other three synagogues in this area, this building, which is of mud brick 
with a baked brick foundation, is two floors in height, with an interior 
courtyard. The Torah ark is built into its Western wall. 

The remains of this building are in precarious condition. The central 
courtyard, which was once paved, has been reduced to the ground, as its 
brick pavement has been recycled for other construction. The remains of 
the building on the east, north and south sides of the courtyard are now 
used as family housing, room. Although the foundation of the building west 
of the courtyard seems intact, two of its rooms are completely ruined. Parts 
of the roof, which is of mud brick, have collapsed, and there is water 
damage to the remaining ceiling and walls from the rain. The east facade of 
this structure is partially open, and the main prayer hall on the second floor 
is exposed from this side and on the north side, where the roof over the 
stairway has collapsed. The main prayer hall still has much of its painted 
stucco decoration, which is primarily floral, with a strong Persianate 
influence, e.g. the flowering "trees of life" and the butas, or paisley motifs, 


set to either side of the Torah ark on the western wall. Painted stucco 
decoration with multiple floral medallions on a sky blue ground is also 
featured on the underside of arches on the east facade. The ark is elevated 
and is reached by stairs. The room itself is octagonal in shape. To either 
side of the ark are air vents with lattice screens. There are also recessed 
niches with shelves to either side of the ark. Pre-1978 photo documentation 
shows that these were used for the storage of prayer shawls, books and 
other ritualistic objects. 

On the south side of prayer hall is an arcade with a partition with small 
decorative openings which served as the women's gallery. The low open 
tevah, or raised platform for reading the Torah, which is placed below the 
central dome, remains intact and there is a second, smaller low platform 
between the tevah and the south wall. 

There are three Hebrew inscriptions on the north wall above the 
stairway. Two of these are scratched into the wall, and the third is in 
pencil. There is a fourth inscription, also in pencil, in one of the recessed 
niches on the south wall of the hall. The fact that the penciled inscriptions 
are clearly legible suggests that they have been recently executed, and that 
there may still be Jews living in the area. 

The illustrated banknote circulated in Afghanistan at the time of the 
great exodus of Afghan Jews to Israel in 1948. 

The idea for this article came from Joel Hettger, who suggested we visit 
the online web site of the Jewish Community of Herat. Most of the 
information about the synagogue was obtained this way. That there was a 
thriving Jewish community in this Islamic region is almost beyond 


A Jewish Lord Mayor of London 
by Isadore Harris 

Sir George Bart Faudel-Phillips was born in 1840 in England. 
George Phillips, who derived the name of Faudel from his uncle, was 
educated at University College School, completing his studies in Berlin 
and Paris. He then entered his father’s business. 

He was appointed sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1884. In 
1885, he succeeded his father as alderman of the ward of Farringdon- 
Within. In 1894, he became a governor of the Honorable Irish 
Society. The following year he was created high sheriff of the county 
of London, and in 1896 became lord mayor of the city of London. 

As chief magistrate of the city, Faudel-Phillips received Queen 
Victoria at Temple Bar on the occasion of the Jubilee thanksgiving 
service which was held at St. Paul's Cathedral. His year of office was 
one of remarkable philanthropy. He raised funds which amounted, in 
the aggregate, to more than £1,000,000 for the relief of the famine in 
India and for other charitable objects. 

He was the recipient of numerous honors at the close of his term 
of office, when he was created a baronet, and, in recognition of his 
services to India, received the. Order of the Indian Empire, which is 
illustrated. He held many municipal and charitable offices in connection 
with the city of London and received numerous foreign decorations. 

Sir George Faudel-Phillips served the Jewish community as 
president of the Jews' Orphan Asylum and of the Society for the 



by Edward Schuman 

During the closing years of the 1 9th century and the beginning of the 
20th century, Palestine was economically poor and was ruled by a retarded 
and corrupt Turkish Government. The plight of many elderly Jews, who 
emigrated to the Holyland became a matter of concern. The support given 
by the Jews of the Diaspora to their brothers in Palestine was customery 
even in ancient times and there are references to it in the period of the 
Mishna and Talmud. Halukkah is the term usually used to define the 
financial allowance for the support of the Jewish inhabitants of Erez Israel 
from their coreligionists in the Diaspora. 

A system of Halukka, promissary notes signed by representatives, mostly 
renoun rabbis of local European Jewish communities, had been in effect for 
several generations. These obligations were promises to pay certain sums 
of money at a future date and because of the stature of the European rabbis 
and prominent personages who affixed their signatures, they were accept- 
ed throughout the Yishuv. Generally the Halukka allocation was far from 
sufficient to provide for the requirements of those who received it. Since 
the possibilities of gaining a livlihood were extremely limited, most of the 
Halukka beneficiaries lived in poverty 

The illustrated Halukka note, also sometimes referred to as a Kollel 
note is from the Kolel Austria Galizien. It was issued in 1913 for the 
amount of 200 Piastres and signed and sealed. When World War 1 started, 
Jewish Palestine became cut off from these funds. Residents of yeshivas, 
orphanages and old folks homes became destitute and faced outright 
starvation. To alleviate this situation a system of scrip or receipts were 
issued by recognized organizations. One example, the Jewish Community - 


Jaffa District issued receipts which could be redeemed for food. These 
were were hand signed by officers and rabbis in amounts for 100 paras 
worth of MEHL (flour) and 50 paras worth of BROT given to those in 
dire need. As these receipts became an obligation of the Jewish 
Community-Jaffa District; they were honored and later redeemed. 

N 90.9 5 a 


touaS nnS trpao 1o' rtno HVrS fiSion 
Sty -jo Sy nop vnmano nSaon o'ta-o qma 

(mono 100)— 'vm wrti w ^ 

I lii illiiUjUiAiH uUlilillAt* A. 

While glancing through eBay Judaica listings on our computor, we 
came across the two illustrated unissued receipts of Hilfskommission 1915 
fur Palastina. These are from the collection of A.I.N.A. life member Dr. 
Samuel Halperin. I told Sam we would attempt to research these items in 
the SHEKEL. 



Mogen Dovid-Spende 


Hilfskommission fiir PaJftstina. 


Dar Presidium 

dtr Hllf»komml»iion 1016 far Paikttln*. 


The denomination in heller signify they are from the Austrian branch of 
Hilfsverein, and were used in place of local money in Palestine in 1915. 

Hilfsverein der Deutschen was founded in Germany in 1901. Its goals 
were to improve the social and political conditions of Jews in Eastern 
Europe and the Middle East.. Hilfsverein was planned as a central body for 
German Jewry similar to the French Alliance Israelite Universelle. 
Hilfsverein called the Vienna Conference of 1903 to organize relief for 
Russian Jewry, and a similar conference in London in 1905. During the 
1905 revolution in Russia it gave financial help to the Jewish self-defense 

Following a policy of assisting only "organized emigration" of Rumanian 
Jews, Hilfsverein decided in 1902 not to help those emigrants who were 
stranded in Germany, but instead to help the Jews in Rumania itself. 
Hilfsverein became the agent of Jacob Schiff s project (the Galveston Plan) 
to sponsor Russian Jews emigrate to the southern United States instead of 
migrating to New York City. However the autocratic nature of the 
German regime was unwilling and unable to assist Jewish emigration to 

The Hilfsverein policy was guided by pro-German political objectives to 
secure influence in Turkish Palestine. Its attempt to force German 
language in teaching at the planned Haifa Technion University in 1913 
caused an international furor in Zionist circles. 

On the eve of World War I the it had over 1 0,000 members in Germany 
and Austria and followers in America, Russia, and Palestine. 

After the defeat of Germany, the Hilfsverein ceased to play any major 
role in international Jewish matters. It allied itself with the Alliance 
Israelite Universalle and other non-Zionist organizations. Through its 290 
local committees in Germany (in 1930), the Hilfsverein concentrated 
mainly on helping Jewish emigration from and via Germany and assisted 
approximately 350,000 Jews to leave between 1921 and 1936. 

After the advent of the Nazi Reich, the Hilfsverein (which in 1935 had 
to change its name to Hilfsverein der Juden in Deutschland, ("Relief 
Organization of Jews in Germany") was unable to continue with relief work 
abroad. Hilfsverein initially mistakenly advised German Jewry to postpone 
emigration as long as possible but was forced by circumstances to aid those 
who wished to leave. The Jewish relief organization was officially dissolved 
in 1939 though it continued to exist until 1941 as an emigration section of 
the Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland. 


Leipzig's Jewish History 

In Leipzig, Germany, an organized community with a synagogue and a 
school existed at the end of the 12th century. The community and its 
synagogue are mentioned in a responsum of Isaac b. Moses of Vienna 
between 1250 and 1258; Jewish money-lending activity is also noted. The 
fair regulations of Leipzig of 1 268 guaranteed protection to all merchants, 
and moved the day of the market from Saturday to Friday for the benefit of 
the Jewish merchants. 

The Jewish community may have suffered during the Black Death 
persecutions, for the margrave disposed of their synagogue in 1352. In 
1364 a Schulmeister and other Jews are again mentioned; they lived in the 
Judenburg, which had its own entrance gate. The Jews in Leipzig were 
probably not expelled in 1442 as the city historians record (though their 
status did deteriorate), but only after the expulsion of all Jews from Saxony 
in 1540. Their right to attend the fairs, held three times yearly, remained 

Between 1668 and 1764, 82,000 Jews attended these fairs, and decisively 
influenced their business; Leipzig's growth as a center of the fur trade was 
due to Jewish activities. Jews, however, were prohibited from opening 
shops facing the streets, and from holding services. Jews who died during 
the fairs had to be buried in Dresden, or elsewhere, until a cemetery was 
opened in 1815. 

A permanent Jewish settlement was founded in 1710 when Gerd Levi, 
mintmaster and purveyor, received rights of residence. The number of 
"privileged" Jewish households allowed residence in Leipzig grew to seven 
by the middle of the 18th century. After the Seven Years' War (1756-63) 
Jews held services during the fairs in a number of prayer rooms, according 
to Landsmannschaften. By the end of the century 40 to 50 Jewish 
merchants were living in Leipzig who employed clerks, servants, agents, 
and shohatim. A law issued in Saxony in 1 837 permitted the establishment 
of a community in Leipzig, though permission to build a synagogue was 

A prayerhouse, influenced by Reform tendencies, was opened and Adolf 
Jellinek was employed as preacher between 1845 and 1857. Due to his 
efforts a new synagogue was built and consecrated in 1855. In 1869 a 
Reform synod was held in Leipzig, and the Deutsch-lsraelitischer 
Gemeindebund was founded, led by leaders of the Leipzig community. 

After 1868/69, with the abolition of all anti-Jewish restrictions, the 
number of Jews increased greatly by immigration from Galicia and Poland. 
There were 7,676 Jews living in Leipzig in 1905, and 13,032 in 1925, 


making it the largest Jewish community in Saxony. As many of the 
newcomers were Orthodox, a separate community and synagogue was 

In August 1938, there were 10,800 Jews in Leipzig. In October those of 
Polish citizenship were deported, and during the Kristallnacht the two main 
synagogues were burned down, shops looted, and the funeral hall 
demolished. Many Jews emigrated, and by early 1942 approximately 2,000 
remained, living in a special quarter, in "Jewish houses" (Judenhaeuser). 
During 1942 over half were deported to Riga, Belzyce, and Theresienstadt; 
the last transport, of 169, took place on Feb. 14, 1945, to Theresienstadt. 

After the war a new community was reorganized. The Broder Schul 
synagogue was restored, as were the funeral hall and cemeteries. The 
community, which numbered 120 in 1968, was under the supervision of an 
East Berlin rabbi and religious services have been led from 1950 by the 
hazzan, Werner Sander, who organized a choir and recorded liturgical 

During the aftermath of World War I, hard currency, both coins and 
paper money disappeared and at the same time a super inflation occurred in 
Germany. This led to the issuance of so called notgeld, paper substitutes 
for money. Aside from cities, small and large businesses issued this scrip. 
Among the more collectibles are those issued by major banks. It is these 
which are used as the numismatic illustrations. 



Freiburg Im Breisgau is the name of a city in Baden, Germany. Like 
most towns and villages in Europe it has a Jewish history. Jews were 
imprisoned there in 1230 by the town's overlord, but later released by King 
Henry VII. Rudolf of Hapsburg levied taxes from the Jews there in 1281. 
In 1300 the counts of Freiburg ratified the ancient rights of Freiburg Jewry. 
The rights to their taxes, which had been given for a short time to a Basle 
burgher, were restored in 1310 to the counts' authority, who granted the 
Jews a special privilege in 1338. About this time the Jews owned 15 
houses, near the synagogue and in other streets, shared by several families. 

The Jewish community, except for pregnant women and children, was 
massacred by burning after one month's imprisonment, during the Black 
Death (January 1349). Emperor Charles IV permitted the counts to resettle 
Jews in Freiburg in 1359. In 1373 a Jewish physician named Gutleben 
was given permission to live there. In 1 394, the Austrian overlord ordered 
that Jews should wear a special garb, with a coat and cap in dull shades. 
Jews were prohibited from leaving their houses during Holy Week and 
from watching the religious procession. At that time, the weekly rate of 
interest was set at 0.83%. 

In 1401 the Jews were again expelled from the city although individual 
Jews were admitted from 1411-23. The expulsion became final in 1424 
but Jews continued to live in the nearby villages and towns. In 1453, due to 
complaints from non- Jewish town business people, they were prohibited 
from doing business in the city. 

Some Hebrew works were printed in Freiburg in the 1 6th century as the 
result of difficulties in obtaining Hebrew printing in Basle. Israel Zifroni 
printed a number of Hebrew books, among them Benjamin of Tudela's 
Massa'ot (1583), Jacob b. Samuel Koppelman's Ohel Ya'akov, and the first 
edition of Aaron of Pesaro's Toledot Aharon (1583-84). In 1503 and 1504, 
editions were issued of Gregorius Reisch's Margarita Philosophica which 
included a page with the Hebrew alphabet in woodcut. 

By the early 1 7th century Jews were able to enter Freiburg on business, if 
they were accompanied by a constable. The first Jew received a medical 
degree from Freiburg University in 1791. There were 20 Jews living in 
Freiburg by the year 1 846. Following the Baden emancipation law of 1 862 
a congregation was formed in Freiburg in 1863, and a synagogue was 
consecrated in 1885. It was burned down under the Nazis in 1938. 

Among the distinguished Jewish professors who lectured at Freiburg 
University were the philosopher Edmund Husserl, the economist Robert 
Liefinann, the jurist Otto Lenel, Fritz Pringsheim, the classical papy- 



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Narr.ene dee Siadtrats. 

Dor OlrarbilnrortudUtor : 

rologist, and the biochemist Siegfried Tannhauser. From 1933-35, along 
with six other Jewish professors, they were dismissed. 

Jewish population numbered 1,138 in June 1933, or about 1.5% of the 
total inhabitants of the city. After the Nazi rise to power many left, but 474 
remained in May 1939. In 1940, 350 Jews of them were expelled from 
Frieburg and interned by the French in the Gurs concentration camp. 
During 1941-2 most were deported to the east as were almost all survivors 
from Gurs. After the war 15 original Jewish inhabitants returned to 
Freiburg, soon joined by 78 Jewish displaced persons, who lived there in 
1945. The Jewish population grew to 225 in 1968. A new prayer hall was 
consecrated in 1953. The university acquired the grounds where the 
synagogue once stood and it is commemorated by a memorial plaque. The 
Freiburger Rundbrief, a journal dedicated to Christian- Jewish under- 
standing, is published in Freiburg. 

Along with countless 
other cities and muni- 
cipalities Freiburg issued 
revenue bonds for capital 
improvements. One of the 
more attractive bonds, it 
is printed in color and 
shows a view of the city, 
symbols of agriculture 
and industry and the arms 
of Freiburg. Issued in 500 
mark denomination, it had 
an annual interest rate of 
3.5%. It may be difficult 
to understand, but this so 
called “worthless” piece 
of paper is valued in 
excess of $500 in today’s 
scripophily market. 



Kol Nidrei is a declaration of annulment of vows with which the 
evening service of the Day of Atonement commences. The worshipers 
proclaim that all personal vows, oaths, etc., that they made unwittingly, 
rashly, or unknowingly (and that, consequently, cannot be fulfilled) during 
the year should be considered null and void. The recitation must begin 
while it is still daylight and must be prolonged until sunset. It is the custom 
to repeat Kol Nidrei three times in order to accommodate latecomers. In 
Kol Nidrei only vows affecting the self, i.e., vows made between man and 
God are comprehended. Not formally a prayer, Kol Nidrei nevertheless 
became the most beloved ritual of the Day of Atonement. 

The origins of Kol Nidrei are unknown; none of the many theories is 
conclusive. The first reference to Kol Nidrei as a collective declaration is 
found in the responsa of the Babylonian geonim (beginning in the eighth 
century). It is stated that Kol Nidrei was familiar to them from "other 
lands"; but the "other lands" are not identified. An obvious possibility is 
Palestine, yet none of the extant sources of the old Palestinian liturgy has 
Kol Nidrei. It was presumed that the congregational recitation of Kol 
Nidrei originated in Palestine, as a reaction to Karaite attacks on the 
Rabbanite practice. It was also proposed that the original function of Kol 
Nidrei had been "the annulment of curses or oaths... that touch off evil 
forces in the community." 

About the time of Hai Gaon (c. 1000 C.E.), general acceptance had 
been gained for a Kol Nidrei formula; it invoked divine "pardon, 
forgiveness, and atonement" for the sin of failing to keep a solemn vow (or, 
possibly, for having vowed at all). The period envisioned was "from the 
previous Day of Atonement until this Day of Atonement." The tosafists of 
12th-century France and Germany, notably R. Meir b. Samuel and his son 
Jacob (known as Rabbenu Tam), did not accept the geonic version but 
reworded Kol Nidrei as an annulment of vows which may possibly be made 
"from this Day of Atonement until the next Day of Atonement." Rabbenu 
Tam's (Aramaic) version has remained standard for Ashkenazim. 

Anti-Semites have frequently taken Kol Nidrei as evidence that the 
oath of a Jew is worthless.. In 1860 a Hebrew introduction to Kol Nidrei 
was included in prayer books in Russia on the recommendation of a 
rabbinic commission. It explained that Kol Nidrei was not meant to apply 
to oaths taken before courts of law. Kol Nidrei' s persistent popularity is 
partly attributed to emotional factors, especially its association with Jewish 


martyrdom. In 1917, Joseph S. Bloch propounded a dramatic, though 
unsubstantiated, theory that Kol Nidrei arose as a reaction to forced Jewish 
conversions to Christianity by the Visigoths in seventh-century Spain, to 
persecutions in the Byzantine Empire (700-850), and in Spain to 
persecutions by the Inquisition (1391-1492). 

The standard Ashkenazi melody for Kol Nidrei is deservedly famous as a 
superior example of the musical tradition of the Diaspora, and, with much 
justification, of "Jewish music" as such. It is not a melody in the 
conventional sense, but an artistic concatenation of motives, stylistically 
related to the general melodic conventions of the High Holy Days. The 
motives alternate between solemn syllabic "proclamations" as in the 
opening, intensely devotional wave-like phrases, and virtuoso vocal runs. 

In 1 880. the Jewish Community in the City of Liverpol, England 
decided to commission a composer to set the Kol Nidrei words to music. 
The non- Jewish composer Max Bruch was selected and his composition 
was originally composed for solo cello and orchestra. It has became his 
most popular work, and is heard recited by millions of Jews three times on 
Yom Kippur. 

Max Bruck’s portrait appears on a German notgelt issue of 1921 and 
serves as the numismatic illustration. 


Joseph Cowen - A Neglected British Zionist 

The share certificates of the Jewish Colonial Trust are recognized today 
as eagerly searched for scripophily collectibles. They are the tangible 
remains of Theodor Herzl's dream; the first material records of the creation 
of a Jewish bank, whose funds were to be used to for the benefit of the 
emancipation of the then persecuted Jewish communities in Europe. It is 
little wonder that the surviving records of this illustrious venture record 
major purchases of one or two shares, rather than multiples of hundreds or 
even thousands as is common today. But then, Jewish people willingly gave 
up their hard earned kopeks, kronen, groszy; francs and marks to support 
Herzl's dream of a Jewish land. 

While the signatures of many of the directors of the Jewish Colonial 
Trust are well known leaders of the Zionist movement at that time, little 
has been written about Joseph Cowen, whose bold rubber stamped 
signature appears on almost every known early share certificate. 

Joseph Cowen was bom in Davenport, England in 1 868 and originally 
was indifferent to Jewish affairs. He was persuaded to attend the First 
Zionist Congress by his relative, author Israel Zangwill, and evidently was 
mesmerized by what transpired at this congress. He thereafter devoted 
himself to the Zionist movement, becoming Herzl’s chief associate in all 
matters concerning Great Britain and the Jewish community there. He was 
the moving spirit behind the foundation of the British Zionist Federation in 
1 899, and was elected several times to serve as its president. 

In 1902, Cowen accompanied Herzl during his unsuccessful audience 
with the Turkish sultan. Later, Herzl made him a major character in his 
novel Altneuland, where he was called Joe- Joseph Levy. Joneph Cowen 
became a director of the Jewish Colonial Trust upon its foundation and 
held this position until his death in 1932. 

During World War I, Cowen was one of the few Zionist leaders to 
support Vladimir Jabotinsky in his efforts to create a Jewish Legion. He 
also was Weizmann's right-hand man during the preparatory political work 
leading to the publication of the Balfour Declaration. He was also a 
member of the Zionist Commission to Palestine in 1918, treasurer of the 
Zionist Organization, a member of the Zionist Executive in 1921-22, and 
head of Keren Hayesod in Great Britain. 

The illustrated Jewish Colonial Trust share warrant, issued m bearer 
form, for 10 shares is dated the 8th day of January 1919. The Anglo- 
Palestine Co., Ltd. share, issued to Lia Kappel of Antwerp, Belgium for 
one share, was issued during the great depression on the 31st of July, 1931. 


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Zuelz is located in the Opole province in S.W. Poland (formerly in 
Silesia). Although the city appears on the list of places where Jews were 
martyred during the Black Death persecutions of 1349, the identification is 
uncertain. The community itself had a tradition that its beginning was at the 
end of the 14th century, but the documentary sources date only from the 
16th century, when the number of Jewish settlers was very small. In 1564 
nine Jewish families lived in a Jewish Quarter (Judengasse) in their homes. 

All Jews were exiled from Silesia in 1582 with the exception of Zuelz 
and Gross-Glogau, where many found refuge. In 1591 the local aristocracy 
sought to persuade the emperor to expell the Jews from Zuelz as well. 
They found a protector, however, in Hans Christolph von Proskowski, who 
labored successfully with strenuous Jewish support to secure their position; 
in 1601 the Jews received verification of their status. 

Proskowski himself acquired Zuelz in 1606, maintaining a highly liberal 
attitude toward the Jews in his domain. They succeeded in developing their 
trading and commercial interests not only within the city but in many 
surrounding areas as well. In the 17th century Zuelz became a place of 
refuge for Jews from Poland, Moravia, and Bohemia. By 1 647 there were 
17 Jewish houses out of 155 in the town. Jews were involved in the silk 


industry as well as in the production of wool and wax. The community built 
a small wooden synagogue and school in 1717. Many synagogues 
throughout Poland were designed to be defended in case of need. Models 
of these synagogues are on display at Beth Hatefutsoth, the Museum of the 
Diaspora in Tel- Aviv. 

The community had an important talmudic academy that established the 
reputation of Zuelz as a "learned city" in the 18th and 19th centuries and 
was the focus of the community's life. Many scholarly rabbis ministered to 
the community's needs over the years. The oldest tombstone found dates 
from 1 640, but the cemetery itself must be somewhat older. In the 1 8th 
century there was a growth of the Jewish population to 600 in 1724; 1,061 
(over half the total population) in 1782, and 1,096 in 1812. Thereafter, the 
Jewish population began to decline. 

The community developed a number of philanthropic organizations that 
were active in the 1 9th century, the oldest being the hevra kaddisha. It also 
possessed a community school founded in 1844, but disbanded in 1870. 
The community declined further in the 20th century and was officially 
dissolved in 1914. The sacred objects in its synagogue as well as an 
invaluable collection of silver ornaments were transferred to Neustadt, 
which absorbed the small community. By 1929 only nine Jews were left in 
the city. 

In 1921, a series of 10, 25 and 50 pfennig denominations of notgeld 
were issued. They show a portrait style view of this medieval city of 
towers, and commemorates the victory of the plebescite/referendum to 
remain part of Germany and also of the founding of the city 800 years 
before that. 

Jewish History in Karlsbad 

Karlsbad is a city in W. Bohemia, Czech Republic, famous for its 
mineral springs. An express prohibition on Jewish settlement there 
remained in force from 1499 to 1793 and until 1848 Jewish residence in 
Karlsbad was contested in protracted litigation initiated by the non- Jewish 
merchants. In 1793, the Emperor Francis II enjoined the city to obey the 
general laws of the country in its attitude towards the Jews. The city, 
however, paid little attention to this new decree. 

After 1793 Jewish peddlers were permitted to visit the town, while 
Jews could take the cure there during the official season and sick persons 
on doctors' orders in winter also. A hospital for needy Jewish patients, 
founded with special permission of the government by a Prague philan- 
thropic association in 1 847 was the first Jewish institution of its kind in 


In this hospital services were 
held on Sabbaths and festivals, 
notwithstanding the objections of 
the municipal authorities. The 
hospital became, also, the 
meeting place of the first Jewish 
families who began to settle in 
Karlsbad and acquired houses 
after 1848. Foundation of a 
congregation was authorized in 
1 868, and it grew rapidly. 

The illustration, on the right, is 
taken from the 1903 edition of 
the Jewish Encyclopedia. It 
shows an impressive synagogue 
building, which when built in 
1877, could accommodate more 
than 2000 worshippers. 


Synagogue at Karlsbad. 

Karlsbad became popular among Jews as a resort and a rendezvous of 
matchmakers and as a meeting place for rabbis and communal leaders from 
Eastern Europe. The 12th and 13th Zionist Congresses were held there in 
1921 and 1923. The German population in Karlsbad was largely 
anti-Semitic, but anti-Jewish manifestations were restrained during the 
season, when political activities were banned. 

In 1901 the community founded the Kaiser Franz Joseph Regierungs- 
Jubilaum Hospiz, which was opened on May 1st, 1903. The societies 
included a Bnai Brith lodge, a women's philanthropic society, several 
religious and social societies, a choral society in connection with the 
synagogue and a Zionist society. 

With the event of Nazism and the return to Germany of the Sudeten in 
1938, all but four Jews out of a population of around 2500 left Karlsbad 
during the Sudeten crisis in 1938. The synagogue was destroyed on Nov. 
10, 1938. 

A new community was established in 1945, mostly by refugee Jews 
from Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia, numbering approximately 400, including 
the members of the congregation and old-age home in Marienbad under its 
administration. A communal center, with a synagogue, mikveh, and reading 
room was installed. A memorial to Nazi victims and the fallen in World 
War II was erected in 1956 on the site of the destroyed synagogue. 

The numismatic illustration is of a World War I ten krone emergency 
scrip note issued by the Karlsbad municipality. 


Operation Kadesh 

Israel's War of Independence (1948-49) was terminated by Armistice 
Agreements, not peace treaties, between the State of Israel and the 
neighboring Arab states. The vague conditions of the agreements 
(especially the provisions for demilitarized zones), the refusal of the Arabs 
to enter into negotiations for peace, and the absence of progress towards 
the solution of basic problems inevitably led to the aggravation of relations 
between Israel and her neighbors. Between 1 949 and the Sinai Campaign in 
1956, Arab acts of hostility caused approximately 1,300 Israel civilian 
casualties. In August 1955 Egypt launched the fedayeen squads for murder 
and sabotage inside Israel, and Israel, in turn, conducted reprisals on an 
ever-increasing scale. 

At the end of September 1955, Egypt and Czechoslovakia, with Soviet 
blessings, concluded an arms deal for the provision of large quantities of 
Russian arms to Egypt. This confirmed Israel's suspicions of Egypt’s 
aggressive intentions and, since it changed the balance of armament in the 
Middle East, provoked a new arms race. On Oct. 24, 1956, two weeks 
after an Israel reprisal raid, a joint Arab military command was established, 
including Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, with the Egyptian chief of staff at its 
head. At the same time, Egypt fortified the Straits of Tiran and placed 
heavy guns at Ras Nuran, thus blocking the Red Sea route to Eilat. The 
passage of Israel shipping through the Suez Canal was already blocked. 

Operation Kadesh (the code name of the Sinai Campaign) was a pre- 
emptive offensive to catch the Egyptians off balance before their hostile 
preparations were completed. For more than two years, systematic guerrilla 
attacks had been mounted by terrorists from the Egyptian-occupied Gaza 
Strip and the Peninsula of Sinai against the Jewish population of Israel. 
From across the borders, these fedayeen, as they called themselves, struck 
deeply into Israel’s sovereign territory. It was cold blooded hit-and-run 
sabotage and undiscriminating murder. Pumps and pipelines and buildings 
were dynamited. Vehicles were mined and damaged. Children in school, 
wedding-guests in the midst of rejoicing, scholars at Bible study, lonely 
wayfarers, farmers in their undefended fields - all fell victim. Limited 
retaliation on Egyptian and Jordanian military targets was of no lasting 
avail. Protests to the United Nations were pigeonholed. Tempers in Israel 
ran high. The toll of innocent life and limb not to mention precious prop- 
erty, was heavy. At the same time, Egyptian forces blocked entrance to the 
Gulf of Eilat for Israel shipping and Egyptian guns, set up on the Straits of 
Tiran, were trained on vessels entering and departing. Conditions worsen- 


ed after the signature of a military pact between Jordan and Egypt. It had 
to be stopped, now or never. 

A rapid mobilization of reserves and the readying of Israel's small regular 
army began, and, at dawn on 29 October 1956, the columns of the Israel 
Defense Forces - armor, aircraft, parachutists and motorized infantry - 
were deployed and advanced into the wilderness of Sinai. It was less than 
a war, more than a raid. One after another, fedayeen strong, holds were 
overrun. One after another, advanced Egyptian garrisons were engaged 
and reduced, but not always without fierce fighting. In a hundred hours, 
Israel's regulars and reservists had reached Sharm el Sheikh at the entrance 
to the Gulf of Eilat, and the shores of the Suez Canal. A brilliant and brief 
operation had been completed. It had been planned with outstanding skill, 
bold and imaginative. 

In Egypt proper, there was the Anglo-French involvement. The cease- 
fire was followed by long and vexing arguments in the United Nations. But 
international assurances were ultimately given that left little doubt that 
Israel's justified military action would be allowed to have its effective and 
continuing influence upon the political, economic and human tranquillity of 
the State. 

Thus assured, Israel withdrew from a peninsula which it at no time had 
sought to possess but was determined to purge of any future threat to the 
peace of its own citizens. Israel's men of science, and not only Israel’s 
soldiers, had marched into Sinai. Archaeologists, epigraphists, botanists, 
and geologists; it was a rare opportunity for scholarly inquiry and 
observation, and it was scientifically used. And the young soldiers walked 
in the footsteps of ancestors who became one people in that desert and at 
Mount Sinai were given the Law that was to be their pride and their life for 
ever after. 

Speaking in the Knesset on 7 November 1956, David Ben-Gurion, Prime 
Minister and Minister of Defense, described the campaign as a turning- 
point in the security and warfare of Israel, and in Israelis status in the 
Middle East and throughout the world. 

The Sinai Campaign commemorative medal, glories the tenth anniversary 
of an achievement that while fell short of bringing about the full regional 
peace, for which Israel continues to strive, had done three vital things. The 
Gaza Strip ’and the Sinai desert were no longer a springboard for 
provocation and destructiveness. The Straits off Tiran leading into the Gulf 
of Akaba were open once more to international navigation; and Eilat, as it 
was in the golden days of Solomon's ships, was again the gateway to 
Israel's sea-lanes to the East. 


Description of the Medal 

Obverse: In the center, a ship passing through the Straits at Tiran, repre- 
sented in stylized form, and a great sun, the two together suggesting 
tranquillity and peace in the Straits. In Hebrew and English, the 
inscription: "Sinai Campaign - Tenth Anniversary", and the verse "And all 
her paths are peace", Proverbs 3, 17, and the year 5727-1966. 

Reverse: Covering most of the surface, again in stylized form, the verse 
"A time for war and a time for peace", in Hebrew, Ecclesiastes 3, 8. From 
the inscription, there rises the emblem of the Israel Defense Army, a sword 
and olive branch. 

Around the edge, above, the same verse in English. On the edge: The 
number of the medal, the emblem of the State and the words "State of 
Israel", in Hebrew and in English. Silver 935 appears on the silver medals. 

Ernest Bloch 

by Fred Bertram 

Composer Ernest Bloch (1880-1959), asserted a spiritual integrity that 
places him with the masters. "In his music," John Hastings wrote, "he has 
seen life piercingly and seen it whole. The world Bloch has created is a 
whole world, as filled as the one we call real with tumult and shouting, with 
longing and despair, with savagery and frustration, and with tenderness and 
loveliness and enchantment. He has not blinked at tragedy; but he has not 
stopped with it, either. And against all the howlings of the negative voices, 
he seems to beckon us toward the possibility of something better." 

Bom in Geneva, Switzerland, Ernest Bloch revealed his musical gifts 
early. He began to play the flute at the age of six, He learned violin at nine 
and was already composing musical works. Jewish melodies his father 
sang inspired him in his teens to create a symphony. When the great 
violinist, Marsik, came to Geneva, Bloch played for him. Bloch's father 
was opposed to his son's determination to have a musical career but Marsik 
finally convinced the elder Bloch that his son should continue his musical 
studies. Bloch left home, at sixteen and for some half dozen years studied 
with the best musicians of Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris. At that 
time he composed his first big work, the Symphony in C Sharp Minor. In 
1904, Bloch returned to Geneva and entered the family clock making 
business, From 1911 to 1915, Bloch taught composition at the Geneva 
Conservatory, conducted concerts and composed many musical works. 

Bloch first went to the United States in 1916 as conductor for the 
dancer, Maud Allan, and soon won recognition. Early in 1917, he was 
invited to conduct his Three Jewish Poems in Boston. A few months later 
a concert of his orchestral works was given in New York. In 1920, he 
founded and organized the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 1925 he left it 
to become director of The San Francisco Conservatory of Music which he 
headed until 1930. 

Life on an American Indian reservation for a short time inspired Block's 
America Symphony (1927) which brought him great success in the United 
States. He worked some of the native Indian chants into this American 
symphony, blending and harmonizing them with melodies of Spanish 
Negroes. Even here, it was said, his distinctly Hebraic style could not be 
obscured. As one critic wrote, "The Indian dance in this symphony 
resembles a Hasidic dance." 

One of Bloch's most important works is his Great oratoria, Avodath 
Hakodesh ("Sacred Service", a setting of the Jewish prayer service), which 


he wrote in seclusion in Switzerland during 1930-33 (commissioned by 
Gerald Warburg). This has been described as the best of Bloch's efforts to 
bring to the world the Hebraic style of music. Bloch's work has been 
credited with helping to establish Jewish music as an independent art form. 

In 1938 Bloch returned to the United States. He made a number of tours 
as conductor, finally settling, in 1941, in Agate Beach, Oregon. There he 
spent the rest of his life except for annual lecture visits to the University of 
California. His manuscripts are preserved in the University's library at 

Bloch was always his own man, despite the musical fashion of the day. 
He once stated: "I do not propose or desire to attempt a reconstruction of 
the music of the Jews. ... It is rather the Hebrew spirit that interests 
me-the complex, ardent, agitated soul that vibrates for me in the Bible; the 
vigor and ingenuousness of the Patriarchs, the violence that finds 
expression in the books of the Prophets, the burning love of justice, the 
desperation of the preachers of Jerusalem, the sorrow and grandeur of the 
Book of Job, the sensuality of the Song of Songs. All this is in us, all this 
is in me, and is the better part of me. This it is which I seek to feel within 
me and to translate in my music-the sacred race-emotion that lies dormant 
in our souls." 

"Amid the prevailing sterility of his cultural world," John Hastings wrote 
in 1948, "Bloch has truly been a voice crying in the wilderness. And yet, 
perhaps the most remarkable aspect of his music is that, for all its position 
of the outsider to contemporary mainstreams, it comes through as an 
extraordinary probing portrait of our times, which the essential 
timelessness of its character does nothing to dissipate. . . . The effect has 
been that of a prophet from the Old Testament transplanted into the 
present with all its ferment and complexity, and moving about amid the 
toppling masonry without forfeiting either his understanding or his 

The Ernest Bloch medal is #1 1 1 of the Medallic History of the Jewish 






Volume XXI No. 3 May-June 2000 

INS OF LONG ISLAND - The December meeting was well 
attended, spirited and one of the best ever. The January 
meeting was cancelled due to snow, and at the February 
meeting, plans were made for an excursion trip and exhibits 
were shown. INSU meets the third Thursday of the month at 
7:30 p.m. at the Syosset Library at So. Oyster Bay Road and 
the Long Island Expressway (Exit 43). 

INS / ICC OF LOS ANGELES - An NASC program on 
ancient Greek coins was shown at the January meeting. 
Members were asked to bring in and show any ancients from 
their collections. Speaker for February was Mel Wachs 
presenting a slide program on ancient Biblical coins. Mel is an 
expert in this field and his presentations are always 
informative and very interesting. Dr. Thomas Fitzgerald was 
the featured speaker at the March meeting, "Coins of the Bar 
Kochba War" his subject. Along with a handout depicting 
numerous coins of that time period, Dr. Tom's oral 
dissertation was incredibly informative and educational. Next 
month election of officers will be held. The LA club meets on 
the third Thursday of the month beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the 
Westside Jewish Community Center located at 5870 West 
Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles. 



INS OF MICHIGAN - Jack Schwartz was the speaker at the 
January meeting, Jewish Museums Around the World" his 
topic. Members in attendance were asked to share their 
experiences in visiting Jewish museums in their travels. INSM 
meets the fourth Tuesday of the month beginning at 8:00 
p.m. at the Jewish Community Center located at 15110 W. 10 
Mile in Oak Park. 

INS OF NEW YORK - For the February meeting, the exhibit 
topics were: the letter "H", the Amphora and calendar items 
of Lincoln/Washington's birthday, Leap Year, and Shabbat 
Shekalim. For the March meeting: the letter "I", the topic was 
the Pomegranate and calendar items Shabbat Zakhor and 
Purim. INSN meets the third Tuesday of the month beginning 
at 7:30 p.m. at the offices of Dr. Jay Galst, 30 East 60* 
Street, 8 th Floor, NY. And believe it or not, there is ample 
parking on the streets after 8:00 p.m. 

AINA TOUR NEWS - I recently learned that AINA's Tour 
2000 had to be cancelled due to not enough participants. So 
hopefully next year will "be the year". 

BUY / SELL / TRADE - If you have any items you are 
looking for or want to sell or trade, please send me your 
inquiries (address at top of previous page). When this section 
first appeared, there were many interested in this feature, but 
has since really slowed down. So let me hear from you. 

MOMENTS IN THOUGHT - Smile when you answer the 
phone, the caller will hear it in your voice. ... Open your arms 
to change, but do not let go of your values. ... 

COMMENTS FROM P3S : I still enjoy attending my coin 

meetings. Do you? Programs are hard to come by, why not be 
a speaker at one of your meetings? Be well, be happy.. 


Please use this form to sponsor a new member 
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Israel If you seek to benefit from the knowledge 
and lore of Israel’s numismatics, you are invited 
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